Home Read Classic Album Review: The Flashing Lights | Sweet Release

Classic Album Review: The Flashing Lights | Sweet Release

The Can-rockers recombine entire bands & genres into candy-coloured pop treats.

This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


From the very first spin of Toronto retro-pop outfit The Flashing Lights’ sophomore CD Sweet Release, you’ll swear you’ve heard these songs before. And you have — in a million bits and pieces, performed by a million different pop bands over the last 30 years.

Like the best pop craftsmen — say, Guided By VoicesRobert Pollard — former Super Friendz guitarist Matt Murphy has the ability to mine, refine and recombine entire bands and musical styles into candy-coloured pop treats that are crunchy on the outside but oh-so-sweet at their soft centres. The jangling Chuck Berryish guitars, the garage-band drums, the impossibly high vocals and spot-on harmonies; they all bring together the best of ’60s pop (think The Kinks and Beatles) with the best of ’70s rock (think Big Star and Cheap Trick) to create perfect, pure pop for now people (think Matthew Sweet and Sloan). Hear, hear.